Thursday, April 3, 2014

I can't think of a title.

I found this 'plant stand' on the side of the road. I think it used to be a paint pot stand in a Kindergarten - brushes and water in the middle, primary colours around the edges. But I'm not sure...
A little collection re-discovered while rummaging in the shed.
I never liked this glass block window in our laundry until we hung these vintage macramé hangers and now I love it. Thanks Tam x That's a Peperomia in the basket on the right. It has the weirdest flowers (weird but good)
Lillies on the kitchen table (under our old Michelin sign)
A beaten up little table we picked up from the side of the road (its timber top was rotten so we replaced it with a piece of ply)
A new arrangement on Lucy Violet's old hall cupboard. Albert Namatjira print picked up at the tip shop a few years ago, hand-made basket (they're both hand-made, but I'm talking the really special one on the left) a fortieth birthday present from Anth.
(almost a decade ago. Crikey Moses, that's scary!)
One of a pair of sweet little side tables I'm currently revamping Lovely Courtney from Apprentice Extrovert is helping me out here. Courts knows everything there is to know about totally knocking the socks of pieces of furniture you and I wouldn't ordinarily look at. She's an inspiring woman in many ways actually. Check out her blog. You'll see what I'm talking about.
Here are the legs after I got rid of that ugly stain. So much nicer naked (well the legs on the left are naked - I've waxed the legs on the right) Sanding them wasn't fun...those mouse sander thingies make your hands go numb after a while, and ours is a bit big for my hand so it was tricky to hang on to - it almost took me for a ride every time I turned it on - but discovering that pretty wood underneath (look at the variation in colour and grain) made it all worthwhile. Now for the hard part, i.e. waiting for the primer to cure. Six days to go (and counting) before I can (hopefully) make those little white laminate bits a bit more interesting (not getting rid of all the laminate because I think it's quite nice) Patience is not one of my virtues, I am itching to get started, but so far I have managed not to give in to temptation. Tomorrow may be a different story.
In other I have signed up for Daisy's Sew-Along to learn how to sew this skirt (not very inspiring sketches on the pattern, Frumpsville City actually IMO, but don't be put off. It all comes down to fabric choice - you should see Daisy's skirts! They're lovely!)
I have been wanting to learn how to sew...something for ages, and when I read the words "beginners dream" I was in! Daisy has even promised to teach us how to insert a zip! My sewing nemesis!
Find more details here if you'd like to sew along too.
(I have sewn (ahem!) pillowslip skirts before, but let's face it, how much sewing is involved in threading a bit of elastic through the end of an old pillowslip?! Plus elastic waists look totally crap on me!) 
I know this post is all over the place "like a mad woman's breakfast" so why stop now?! I'll end with this beautiful photo from Lauren Fleishman's Love Ever After series.
Anth on the right, moi on the left. Kidding!!! I wish I was that glamorous ;)
All of Lauren's photos (and their little stories) are lovely, but this one, for me, particularly so. Feel like a bit of love this arvo? Hit the link. You'll be glad you did. 
p.s. some of these pics have appeared on my Instagram thingy(?) so apologies if you've seen them before. I am trying to make an effort to keep blogging even though I have been sucked-in by the quick and easy fix that is Instagram. This post has taken me longer than you'd think (by the standard of it!) to write as I just can't seem to sit down in front of the computer. I hoped by now I'd be able to show you our new loo and laundry (something you might be remotely interested in!) but we are still waiting for it to be tiled (after the last debacle we have called in a favour from someone we can rely on to do the job properly, unfortunately this means it will be done when he can fit us in) so don't hold your breath for that one!
Thanks for reading, skimming, struggling through this, whatever x 





Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Today was a good day because I said Sayonara to the last of the Federation Green trim in our house. Before the funny little shop house became ours, someone else got busy with a paint brush and painted all of the lovely ten inch jarrah skirting boards in the oldest part of the shop/house royal blue (and the walls yellow, which is not a good combo unless you barrack for the Eagles, and we...and I say this emphatically, DON'T!) and all the skirting boards, window frames, etc in the newer (bad very bad 70's addition but I love it anyway) Federation Green. Poor little shop/house, it had been (as my youngest sister would say) "hit with the ugly stick twice!" (make that thrice, actually make that whatever comes after thrice +++!)

So anyway, today it's Hello Dark Night, Goodbye Federation Green! As far as our little shop/house goes we are on the home stretch. It's nearly time to "put the icing on" (I read this phrase in one of Megan Morton's books and like it), which means rummaging through the shed for lost/forgotten treasures and doing a spot decoration d' interieurs. This has been a long time coming and I am very excited about finally, turning our house into our home.


Our second loo was also installed today (I tell you, it's all happening round here!), this has made a good day even better. We are a one bathroom house

(fine by me because I am the only member of a very messy family who cleans it. Two daughters. One husband. Shampoo, conditioner, exfoliater, hair! Oh the hair!!! Daughters not husband's. He shed most of his l-o-n-g ago! Sorry Anth. 

One of my daughter's insists on opening a new tube of toothpaste if there is any dried up residue on the tube we are currently using, yet she is quite happy to bathe in a grey-ringed bathtub and use hairy soap - Hel-lo?!, the other is just as bad. Sorry girls, but it's true)

but two toilets are essentiel! (seems to have so much more impact in French...or is that only me moi?)

I am beyond excited about our new loo (not just for obvious reasons) but because it is honestly (and this will either sound sad or mad) one of my favourite 'rooms' in the house. I can't wait to show it off here (as soon as floor is tiled I will), but think exposed brick walls, some left unpainted and others 'wallpapered' in an encyclopedia from the 60's, all the plumbing 'bits' done in copper and on show, not recessed into the wall where they can't be seen,(wish I'd done this in the bathroom) and an old brass garden tap (I think in plumbing parlance this is called a cock tap. Don't know why, and I could be wrong?) instead of a chrome probably all sounds a bit hideous on 'paper', but wait and see...I think you'll like it...

(btw, I know, for someone who professes to love Modernist design, there is a whole lot of shabby el rustico industrial going on at our place. That's what happens when you work with what you've got v's...dreaming)

As always thanks for reading my blog. I know your time is precious and I really appreciate it. I'll be giving away one of these soon (I'll rustle up something vintagey if modern isn't your cup-o-tea) so please pop back. Take care x

p.s. I know only too well someone in the future's gonna be saying:

"Why the bloody hell did they paint their skirting boards black?! What were they thinking?!" 

I can hear them now. Ha-ha! Sucked in!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

"The House That Time Forgot"

Anth sent me the link to this lovely little 50's house located in one of Brisbane's Northern suburbs a few days ago. It has since sold (thankfully to someone who is planning to preserve at least some of its beautiful wallpaper and general awesomeness. You'll see what I mean in a sec...)

Some of you (particularly the Brisbanites among us) have probably already had a look-see (Anth spotted it on the Corurier Mail real estate page) but if you haven't you're in for a treat.

It's described by the author of the article as "an assault on the eyes" which is absolute poppycock IMO. It is a bit wild and crazy, sure, but I doubt you'll find a more perfectly preserved 50's interior in Australia (excluding Rose Seidler House and its ilk, of course).
There's no black or white with this one. It's gonna have lovers and it's gonna have haters. Drop me a note and let me know where your feelings lie.

(my feet are firmly in the luurve camp - but you already knew that didn't you?!)

I've got a baked Ricotta Cake in the oven, almost ready to come out. So I've got to make this a quick one. Here are some pics. Feast your eyes!

Bathroom first. I think this appropriate given current circumstances, don't you? (and it's my favourite room in the house. I love that wallpaper!)

Sunnies on? You might need them.

Florence Broadhurst meets Opium den?
Blue and green should always be seen! (did you notice what I think is a Cathrineholm bowl up there on that cupboard?)
"They call me mellow yellow (quite rightly)" Donovan, 1966.
This is what I love about real interiors. Colonial, meets retro, meets Nanna = keeping it real. Not a stylist in sight. Just someone with obvious pride in their home, doing their best to make it look nice. Love.
Here's the link to the article (and source of the images I've posted). You can see more pics there. Including a couple of bedrooms, one in peach tones, the other in browns. Lovely! Plus a garden with a real Hills Hoist. Enjoy!
Perfect timing - oven's beeping. Bye and thanks for reading x

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bathroom Before and After

We like our towels old and scratchy
(hooks from here, all the colours of the rainbow, and cheap!)

Before I show you a few pics of our new bathroom I want to say that I have never felt more excitement at the beginning of a renovation project - or more disappointment and regret at the end. Strong words, but bear in mind this is our fourth bathroom reno - we've got 'priors' to compare it with, and none of them were as disastrous as this one.

Due to things I've mentioned previously and others I've kept on the qt, these negative feelings have been really hard to shake. I guess that happens when you get super-excited about something that fails to deliver, doesn't it?

While it's relatively easy to replace tiles that weren't laid properly, fix leaks, iron out little kinks in the design, etc, the 'thing' that I find most upsetting/difficult to get my head around and let go of, is that we didn't do anything wrong! In fact we did everything possible to ensure it was a positive experience (for everyone involved) and still it was a complete schmozzle. I have taken this to heart and it (still) hurts. My feelings. 

Having said all that, we begin work on our laundry next week and I'm determined to move on and put all the bad bathroom stuff behind me before then. Once I've written this post and hit publish, you'll hear no more "pissing and moaning, always complaining"* from me.

(on the topic of our bathroom anyway. Ha-ha!) 
Here's some pics to satisfy the sticky-beak in you:

After all the drama you're probably expecting something fancy, but it's just a simple little bathroom, definitely not worthy of all the trouble it caused.



and after.

So there you have it. Blind Freddy could see it looks better, right?! And despite all of the above I can too.

Still some final flourishes to go, but I'm not in the right head-space for decoration d' interieurs quite yet. We are also planning to extend the subway tiles beyond the bath (behind the toilet) and on the wall directly opposite. We were advised that this wouldn't be necessary, but on use we have discovered our walls will be a sodden mess if we leave them as is.  

(the best bits IMO)

These frames are 100+ years old. My Mum rescued them from a skip when she worked at the Art Gallery of W.A. Yep, that's right, back in the 80's treasures like these were chucked in the bin (even by folks that should've known better!)

Anth bought the little vintage cabinet (you can see reflected in the mirror) yonks ago at a garage sale. It has a label inside which says "Metlex Bathroom Furniture Made in England". The industrial lights above the mirrors are from here

The green "Jason" lampshade you can see in the after pic, is also vintage, we have had it forever. It's a bit rusty in places, but we like that.

We made our shower curtain rod from galvanised pipe and plumbing fittings (easy to make, but sourcing the end bits to attach it was a nightmare! They are brass underneath but a few quick squirts of grey Rust-Oleum fixed that). 
Our shower curtain, which I really love is from Ferm Living Australia. Danish design, made in India, sold in Australia, go figure...
I've just noticed that our shower curtain is currently on sale at Urban Outfitters and shipping within Australia is free. Here's the link if you're interested. 
So there you have it, our bathroom very nearly done and dusted. End of story. End of moaning. At the end of the day just being able to do this is what it's all about...

after all, it's only a bathroom...if this is the worst thing life chucks at us we're laughing, right?!

Thanks for reading. I hear people aren't reading blogs anymore, so I really appreciate you reading mine x

* Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Good Charlotte


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Not All Good In The Hood

It makes me sad that this little gem

has been covered up by this ummm, er,

I'm going with...monstrosity?!
I'm just glad I snapped a quick pic before it was covered up forever - that's assuming it's still there...I hope it is.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Bathroom Deux

A couple of weeks ago Anth and I finally finished our bathroom renovation (we ended up doing a lot of work ourselves. This wasn't part of the plan...this time, for the first time, we expected to be sweating* over invoices, not diy)

*there was blood (Anth's) and tears (mine) too
(there were lots of those)  

If things had gone according to plan I would've written this post months ago - before Christmas in fact (and I would've had a nice new laundry to write about/show you too), but as some of you know already it was not a positive experience - even 'officially' finished it has continued to throw problems at us. More money. More sweat. More tears. (no fresh blood...yet)

Sh**t happens, and as far as bathroom renos go, (sh)it, happened to us.

I am struggling to write this post (actually it's giving me a headache) part of me wants to keep things classy and stay schtum (the old "if you've got nothing nice to say, say nothing at all") and part of me of me wants to spill the beans (in the spirit of keeping it real).

At the end of the day though, I know I've got nothing to gain by putting my ranty-pants on (sorry Julianne). None of the bad stuff, apart from the shoddy work(?)manship (ahem!) of dodgy bros inc (not brothers or a corporation, just a trio of crap at their job, lazy and dishonest tradies!) was intentional. Our new bathroom while not perfect is vastly improved, and we've got two toilets now. That's what we call flash around here!

(even though the new one is like "sh**ting on a dinner plate!". I've pinched this quote from Patsy's post on the "Delicate Topic of Toilets" because I couldn't put it any better myself).

Certain aspects, like this, are even quite lovely.

unexpected slice of sky framed by ventilation gap in our new window
Btw, it used to look like this
I know it had a certain...charm (?), but remember we live in an old corner shop. Our bathroom window fronts the street. You could see right through that clear glass. Scary! (for us and the local Peeping Toms!) 
I just need some time to get over all of the crappy stuff that happened in between. (keep your fingers crossed that no more tiles crack or fall off while I'm working on the bonding process. Seriously.)     

*not in the same bathroom I hasten to add. I mean two toilets en tout. Two toilets in one bathroom?! Now that would be weird. Ewww!)

Thanks for reading.  I'll post some proper pics soon. 

p.s. A tip from me. Don't ever buy one of those toilets with a self-closing lid. Take my advice, I know. Those things are just stupid. They take way too long to close. I want to shut and flush and get outta there pronto. Post-poo drops* or not.

* Make-Mine-Mid-Century put me onto these and they work. Please take the time to read Aesop's blurb. It's quite funny. Doing a poo is referred to as "vigorous activity". I think this is hilarious. You?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Humdingers of the Grid City


(thanks to a tip-off from bloggy friend, and talented N.Z. artist Sally Reynolds)

I was lucky enough to discover the photographic work of Nicholas Burrowes. In particular his Hum Dingers of the Grid City pics, which capture the concrete loveliness and hard edged sculptural beauty, of Christchurch's Modernist commercial buildings simply, elegantly and honestly.

Hum Dingers is a tribute (some of the buildings, sadly long gone) to the Brutalist architecture some of us love (and the rest of us love to hate. Ahem!) And Nicholas doesn't call them hum dingers for nothing! To say they took my breath away when I looked at them would be a huge understatement - they moved me to such an extent that I contacted Nicholas to ask him if I could share them here with you (a big deal for someone shy like me). I'm happy to say Nicholas very kindly agreed "help yourself and post anything you need", so if you've got a soft spot for Brutalist architecture - or even if you haven't (and why not?), you're in for a treat...

171 Main North Road

7 Whiteleigh Avenue
(originally The Wool Exchange, designed by Sir Miles Warren)

O Bridge Street
(racecaller's box at the Pleasant Point Yacht Club. Since demolished. I love this one, it reminds me of a bird house)

55 Sandyford Street

Here's how it could hang at your place

These are just a few of Nicholas's "hum dingers". You won't be disappointed if you take the time to check out the rest of them, and you can, here. You can also have a bit of a sticky-beak at some of Christchurch's residential hum dingers on the fabulous Christchurch Modern (a bit like our own Modernist Australia - which I'm happy to say, is now back online).

One more to end

43 St Martins Road
(St Martins Presbyterian Church, designed by Ernst Plishke)

As always, thanks for reading, and thank-you to Sally and Nicholas for giving me something to write about.

p.s. it would be remiss of me not to mention Thomas Ryan here - Thomas is a Tasmanian photographer whose awesome photography documents Mid-Century, Art Deco and Brutalist buildings in Australia. You've got to check out "Marjoy"